WHAT DAD GAVE ME REFLECTIONS FROM THEIR CHILDREN BY DAVID M. BROWN
his year, let’s step away about what we’d like to give our fathers, if we are fortunate to have them with us, and celebrate what they’ve given us—specifically, a respect for nature and an eco-consciousness that has improved our lives and the life of our communities. Here are 10 who remember their dads in that bright spirit.
His dad Fritz (or Frederick) was an outdoorsman and took him fishing when he was 8 to Turkey Creek in Merrillville, Indiana, near Chicago, where they both grew up. Dad set him up with a cane pole and a bobber. “Before my dad could put a worm on his hook, the bobber started to run, so I flipped the cane pole up over my head and brought in my first fish, a bullhead,” he says. That day he also bagged five others and a fourpound carp that he needed help to pull in. “Dad eventually got his line in the water and caught three bullheads,” Schilling recalls with a smile, “but this was my special day, the day I became a fisherman.” Growing up in the area, he would soon trek regularly to the creek with his friends to fish and observe. “We saw robins and woodpeckers. We saw muskrats swimming in the water. We saw snakes slithering in the grass. We saw squirrels climbing up trees chasing each other.” Fritz and 4-year-old Randy Schilling, 1954. Courtesy Randy Schilling
Elizabeth and Jerry Walton. Courtesy Elizabeth Walton
Elizabeth Walton, CFRE, executive director of the American Lung Association Arizona in Phoenix, grew up outside of Cleveland, Ohio. She spent summers at a family home in the little town of Vermilion along Lake Erie. “My father, Jerry, and I have both always loved being on the lake––swimming, boating—which taught me to be ecoconscious. From there, I became aware of other environmental issues, like air quality, which is a large part of my career today with the American Lung Association,” she says, noting that one of its goals is clean air for all. She moved to Arizona six years ago to be closer to her younger sister. “I love living in Arizona,” Walton says. “This state is so diverse and offers us so many opportunities to get outside and explore nature.” Scottsdale resident Randy Schilling was the development director at Audubon AZ for a decade, where he worked with associates such as former Scottsdale Mayor Sam Campana. Named by his grandmother for the actor Randolph Scott, he’s a semi-weekly steward now at Pinnacle Peak Park in Scottsdale.
greenliving | June/July 2020